October 24

If you walk into any public building, you’ll see a glass panel on the wall containing a fire extinguisher etched with the words “break glass in case of fire”. Although fires are incredibly rare, having a fire extinguisher handy when one breaks out can make all the difference between a minor blaze and a roaring five alarm event. Planning for that contingency, even though it might never happen, is important and maybe even critical. 

In a similar way, there are many “fires” that break out in our life and work. Maybe it’s a client emergency that’s going to require you to work late hours or all weekend. Maybe it’s someone on your team getting sick or suddenly quitting, leaving everyone else to pick up the slack. It’s inevitable that at some point there is going to be a “fire” that needs to be extinguished. Do you have a “break the glass” strategy?

We often react in these moments rather than responding, and the reason is that we haven’t developed a plan for what to do when they arise. (They inevitably will.) So, what are the “fires” that are most likely to arise over the coming weeks? Do you have a plan for (a) how to resource putting them out, (b) how to fund your effort if necessary, (c) how to communicate with others about the situation? Don’t react. Make a plan to respond.

Develop a “break the glass” strategy so that you are able to respond in moments of crisis rather than reacting.

Question:  What contingency should you be planning for, just in case? 

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